Will You Get It Together, Please?

or·gan·ize (ôrg-nz) v. or·gan·ized, or·gan·iz·ing, or·gan·iz·es :  1. To put together into an orderly, functional, structured whole.

In an effort to be make my week run smoother (and to make better food decisions than cereal, frozen pot pies, or "where do you want to go eat?"), I am trying to be more organized about the week's menu choices and prep for said menus.  This is something that I have been trying to do for years and still can't seem to get it together enough to make it work.  I keep telling myself that it is a system problem.  I just don't have a system that is functional for me.  Or I am too lazy to stick to it.  Whatever.  It just isn't working, that's all I know.  I also would like to be way better at recycling leftovers.  I feel so thrifty when I can reuse leftovers into a whole new dish the next night.  I also LOVE taking leftovers to work for lunch, but will only do that for about two days before I don't want to see that food again for a long while.  

Part of streamlining higher maintenance dinners for me involves a crock pot.  I love a crock pot.  There are 472,916,284 "slow cooker" cookbooks out there (or somewhere around that number I'm sure) and some things just should not go into a crock pot.  There are train wrecks I have had out of crock pots (yes, that's great you were able to put those "dumplings" into the crock pot to steam, but they really shouldn't go in there.  Ever), but suffice to say, there should be rules about that sort of thing.  Crock pots, really, are mini braisers with more steam than traditional braising (my next crock pot will have steam vents) so, as we all know, they do an exceptional job of slow-and-low cooking meat into tender, fall-off-the-bone goodness.  I don't really want a baked good coming out of a slow cooker.  No thank you.  Today I have the most gorgeous pot roast in there with some veggies and enough wine and broth to make a good gravy later.  My kitchen smells intoxicating right now.  Another bonus of a crock pot.

This weekend I journeyed to market to stock up on meat items and Brats for our St. Patty's Day Parade festivities next weekend (more on that later in the week).  I know I have said this before, but there is something immensely satisfying about 1. Stocking a freezer with anything.  Whether that is veggies, meat, homemade stocks, leftover soups, etc.  I love options when I open the freezer.  2. Buying/growing as many of those things locally and knowing the folks that you are buying from and what their practices are and 3. Planning menus around what is in season.  I feel especially connected to the area amid that process.

I still am overwhelmed by what the menus want to be this week, but at least I have some options in the freezer.  We have a farm full of meat in there right now.  You want pork?  We've got that.  Lamb?  Sure.  Shanks, chops, ground, or leg?  Beef?  Several cuts.  Feel free to peruse.  Now if I can just get some sort of "order, function, or structured whole" for them, I'll be set.  Feel free to send some motivation my way.  I could use all the help I can get.                    

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